More time at home means more opportunity for you to design your personal kitchen, bath :: WRAL.com

Every year we consider the colors and styles homeowners are gravitating towards when personalizing their new home kitchen and baths. The 2020 season, more so than ever, has given us the most poignant glimpse into how everyday living can affect our design choices. 

The global pandemic we continue to experience has resulted in families spending more time at home, altering both their needs and wants with regards to aesthetics, technology, innovative design options and energy-saving features.  

Buyers may have also found a little extra time to spend on Pinterest or watching HGTV to get inspired on the design of their new home.

“I have buyers that come in after months of being stuck at home with social distancing/COVID restrictions and they have learned what they don’t like,” said Rachel Anne Phelps, design consultant for Drees Homes.  “Through staying home, COVID has helped buyers learn how they truly function at home and that carries over to their choices they make with me.”

So, in the spirit of how form and function merge to create a space that your family desires to spend a lot of time in, let’s take a look at what homeowners are currently asking for in their kitchen and bath design!

Lighting

As evenings may include more home-based activities like menu planning, reading, board games or puzzles, proper lighting is of the utmost importance. Undercabinet lighting and stacked cabinetry lighting remain popular in the kitchen as well as the classic look of clear glass options in the bathroom.

Other lighting must-haves include exposed bulbs, sconces everywhere, and drop-down pendants, especially in the ever-popular black and chrome.

“We are also seeing larger pendants and linear lights over the islands in the kitchen,” said Phelps. “A lot of homebuyers see lighting as the jewelry of the home and in main living spaces they want something that makes a statement.”

Fixtures

Many homeowners are opting for their accent pieces to help them achieve a more modern look so they pair up brushed nickel and matte black features with their cabinetry of choice resulting in a wonderful contrast. Supporting that more modern look is the decision to forego dual-handle bathroom faucets, choosing rather the single-handle option.

Appliances

We all seem to be cooking more these days, dusting off recipes and discovering what our kitchens are really capable of doing for us!

As buyers work with their builders to layout their dream kitchen, designers are receiving requests for hidden microwaves, vent hoods with a cooktop, oversized ranges, and of course the tried and true double wall oven or microwave/oven combination. 

While stainless steel still ranks supreme (especially fingerprint-resistant stainless steel), black stainless continues to gain popularity in that modern and edgy department. However, an even fresher look of matte white with gold or rose gold handles and accents is being considered by homeowners who desire an open and airy feel in their kitchen.

Tile

Whether it is the view from soaking in

Read more

Trump’s return means more anxiety for White House reporters

NEW YORK (AP) — President Donald Trump’s return to the White House to recover from the coronavirus seems certain to raise the already heightened anxiety level of the journalists assigned to follow him.



A member of the cleaning staff sprays The James Brady Briefing Room of the White House, Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)


© Provided by Associated Press
A member of the cleaning staff sprays The James Brady Briefing Room of the White House, Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Three reporters have tested positive for COVID-19 in recent days while covering a White House described as lax, at best, in following basic safety advice like wearing masks. Discomfort only increased Monday with news that press secretary Kayleigh McEnany had tested positive.

Journalists are left to wonder if a still-contagious president will gather them for a public appearance and how their safety will be ensured.

After McEnany’s announcement Monday, Fox News chief White House correspondent John Roberts spent part of his afternoon waiting outside an urgent care center for his own test. He had attended McEnany’s briefing last Thursday. She didn’t wear a mask, and neither did one of her assistants who later tested positive, and Roberts sat near both of them. He tested negative.



Marine One lifts off from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., as supporters cheer, Monday, Oct. 5, 2020. Stepping gingerly, President Donald Trump walked out the military hospital Monday night where he has been receiving an unprecedented level of care for COVID-19, immediately igniting a new controversy by declaring that despite his illness the nation should fear the virus that has killed more than 210,000 Americans. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)


© Provided by Associated Press
Marine One lifts off from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., as supporters cheer, Monday, Oct. 5, 2020. Stepping gingerly, President Donald Trump walked out the military hospital Monday night where he has been receiving an unprecedented level of care for COVID-19, immediately igniting a new controversy by declaring that despite his illness the nation should fear the virus that has killed more than 210,000 Americans. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

He called it an inconvenience, but stronger emotions were spreading. American Urban Radio Networks correspondent April Ryan said she found it infuriating that Trump and his team had risked the health of her colleagues. CNN’s Kaitlan Collins said it was “irresponsible, at best.”

“It’s frustrating,” said Jonathan Karl, ABC News White House correspondent. “Frankly, it makes you angry.”

Trump takes the health and safety of those who work for and cover him very seriously, spokesman Judd Deere said. The White House works to incorporate current CDC guidance and best practices to limit COVID-19 exposure to the greatest extent possible on the grounds and when the president is traveling, he said.



President Donald Trump removes his mask as he stands on the Blue Room Balcony upon returning to the White House Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, in Washington, after leaving Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, in Bethesda, Md. Trump announced he tested positive for COVID-19 on Oct. 2. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)


© Provided by Associated Press
President Donald Trump removes his mask as he stands on the Blue Room Balcony upon returning to the White House Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, in Washington, after leaving Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, in Bethesda, Md. Trump announced he tested positive for COVID-19 on Oct. 2. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Yet Trump clearly dislikes masks, and it is a message that has filtered down through much of his staff.

The White House Correspondents Association has placed signs on the door to the press briefing room saying that masks are required for admittance.

Video: Trump says he’s leaving hospital, tweets “don’t be afraid of COVID!” (CBS News)

Trump says he’s leaving hospital, tweets “don’t be afraid of COVID!”

Read more

Urban flight means home improvement and DIY trends are more than a pandemic bounce. They’re a new habit

  • The shift of Americans from cities to suburbs could drive long-term home improvement sales, according to Wells Fargo.
  • That could benefit home improvement retailers like Home Depot and Lowe’s and auto-focused retailers like Carvana and AutoZone.
  • In the research note, Wells Fargo senior equity analyst Zachary Fadem said cities have lost their luster as people look for more space for working and learning at home and aspects of city life from public transit to high-end restaurants are unavailable or unappealing.



a person standing in front of a building: People walk into a house for sale in Floral Park, Nassau County, New York, the United States, on Sept. 6, 2020. Home buyers eying for cozy backyards and more office space are staging bidding wars in the suburbs surrounding New York City amid the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.


© Provided by CNBC
People walk into a house for sale in Floral Park, Nassau County, New York, the United States, on Sept. 6, 2020. Home buyers eying for cozy backyards and more office space are staging bidding wars in the suburbs surrounding New York City amid the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As some Americans flee cities and move into suburban or rural areas during the coronavirus pandemic, some analysts are predicting home projects and repairs will shift from a trend to long-term habit.

Loading...

Load Error

That could add up to more sales for Home Depot, Lowe’s and other retailers with a wide variety of home improvement items, from paint and tools to kitchen appliances, according to a Wells Fargo Securities research note. Those retailers have already seen strong sales and growing profits during the pandemic, as Americans spend more time in their homes and dollars they would have otherwise doled out for restaurant bills or summer vacations.

The suburban shift could also benefit auto-focused retailers, such as Carvana, AutoZone, O’Reilly Automotive and Advance Auto Parts, according to the note.

In the research note, Wells Fargo senior equity analyst Zachary Fadem spelled out factors that have driven some people out of cities. Among them, he said, about 65% of early Covid-19 cases were concentrated in dense cities. People have sought out more space as they work and learn at home and as aspects of city life from public transit to high-end restaurants are unavailable or unappealing.

He pointed to recent earnings reports by retailers that soared past Wall Street expectations, citing de-urbanization as one of the causes.

A survey of about 1,000 consumers by the Wells Fargo analysts found that more than 88% planned to increase their retail spending in the second half of the year on items, such as appliances and electronics, with home improvement being the biggest category for that spending. About 14% of the consumers surveyed said they moved or have plans to move because of Covid-19. And more than half said they expect to work from home into 2021.

Even a small increase in moves could translate to a significant uptick in home improvement spending, Fadem said in the note. He estimated there are about 73 million single-family households and about 8 million multifamily households across the country. A 1% shift could add more than $2 billion to the home improvement category and add approximately $700 million in the home furnishings category. 

Some retailers have predicted sustained growth, too. Home Depot CEO Craig Menear said

Read more

Why black dots on kitchen tiles means something sinister

Warmer months in Australia can only mean one thing … spiders. And if you have noticed random tiny blobs appearing in your house around this time of year, it turns out there’s a perfectly logical explanation.

One woman desperate for answers about the sinister black dots on her kitchen tiles turned to the internet for help stating at first she thought nothing of them.

But when more popped up, she took to a popular Facebook group asking for advice.

“Does anyone have any idea what these marks could be?” she asked members of the UK group, Mrs Hinch’s Cleaning Tips, alongside a photo.

There was one overwhelming response from many claiming it was spider poo (yes spider poo). But were the claims true?

RELATED: Australia’s ‘spider rain’ explained

Ecologist and University of Sydney professor Dieter Hochuli has confirmed to news.com.au the black dots are in fact spider droppings.

“Spider and fly droppings look similar – and those small blobs are liquid nitrogen-rich poo,” Prof Hochuli told news.com.au

“To be honest, I have seem them around my house too.”

He said the dots are common in Australian households around this time, given warmer weather is approaching, but it’s nothing to worry about.

“There is no public health risk about them,” Prof Hochuli said, adding “we live surrounded by hundreds of spiders in our day-to-day lives”.

Online, the reaction to the dots was huge after the original poster said she had noticed the dots appearing in “random little patches” around her home.

“This morning this was on the top of the pc we have in the kitchen,” she wrote alongside a photo of her tiles.

RELATED: Trick to get rid of spiders

Many were quick to respond that the splotches were spider droppings, but “wash off with no effort”.

“Defo spider poo got on door due to light outside,” one member of the group wrote.

“Look above and you will probably see a web/spider,” another suggested.

However, not everyone agreed, with others saying the black dots were perhaps from flies.

“Definitely fly poop!” one person wrote.

“It happens a lot this time of year, spiders pooing everywhere, Dettox spray is good for it,” another declared.

RELATED: How to cure spider fear in five minutes

Last September, another woman shared pictures of a similar cluster of black dots that too appeared on her skirting boards and walls.

Prof Hochuli said people often mistake the droppings for coffee grounds, particularly if they’re on kitchen benches.

But if you look in the corners, you will most likely spot a spider hiding in nooks and crannies.

To get rid of the spider poop just use a stock standard sponge and wipe it clean.

Source Article

Read more

Rep. Cedric Richmond set to join House Ways and Means Committee

Rep. Cedric RichmondCedric Levon RichmondBiden campaign ratchets up courting of Black voters, specifically Black men Buttigieg, former officials added to Biden’s transition team The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Trump encouraged to call for calm during Wisconsin visit MORE (D-La.) — national co-chair of Joe BidenJoe BidenCoons beats back progressive Senate primary challenger in Delaware Biden courts veterans amid fallout from Trump military controversies Biden campaign manager touts ‘multiple pathways’ to victory MORE‘s presidential campaign and a former Congressional Black Caucus chair — is set to join the powerful House Ways and Means Committee.

Richmond is poised to fill the seat left vacant by the late Rep. John LewisJohn LewisGOP ramps up attacks on Democrats over talk of nixing filibuster Smithsonian to reopen four DC museums on Friday Bills players to highlight social justice initiatives with helmet decals MORE (D-Ga.), a civil rights leader and senior member of the tax-writing panel who died in July. The committee has jurisdiction over tax, trade and health issues.

The Louisiana Democrat has been recommended by the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee to serve on panel. The full Democratic Caucus still needs to approve the assignment.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Congressman Cedric Richmond is a proven leader in our Caucus, whose vision and expertise will be essential to promote fairness in our tax system and secure economic justice and financial security for millions of hard-working families,” House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi seeks to put pressure on GOP in COVID-19 relief battle On The Money: Pelosi says House will stay in session until stimulus deal is reached | GOP short of votes on Trump’s controversial Fed pick | WTO rules Trump tariffs on Chinese goods illegal Democratic lawmakers call for an investigation into allegations of medical neglect at Georgia ICE facility MORE (D-Calif.) said in a statement.

Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard NealRichard Edmund NealCoons beats back progressive Senate primary challenger in Delaware Pelosi: House will stay in session until agreement is reached on coronavirus relief On The Money: Senate Democrats block GOP relief bill | Senators don’t expect stimulus until after election | Jobless claims plateau MORE (D-Mass.) added that “John Lewis’s shoes are impossible to fill, but I know that Rep. Richmond will honor Congressman Lewis’s legacy and commitment to justice as he takes on this new responsibility.”

Richmond has been a member of Congress since 2011, and has been serving on the House Judiciary and Homeland Security committees. He led the Congressional Black Caucus from 2017 to 2019 and is currently the chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. 

He endorsed Biden shortly after the former vice president announced his presidential run, and was named co-chair of the campaign in May 2019.

Source Article

Read more

Small quarters means more attention to kitchen essentials

We’ve been gearing up for our fall RV trip and for the resident cook that means getting the kitchen dialed in.

Take it away, Chef Leslie!

One of the biggest shocks about downsizing from a full kitchen to a tiny setup was the large number of tools I had to leave on the shelf back at home. I thought I couldn’t live without them.

Guess what? I’ve adapted. Less isn’t exactly more, but it’s just fine to streamline what’s in the single cupboard and the lone drawer where the cooking essentials live. These are the tools I can’t do without in our RV.

Cast iron skillet: I’ve worn out plenty of non-stick pots and pans over the years, both cheap and spendy, but when it comes to durability, nothing tops my trusty cast iron skillet. This MVP sears salmon fillets and braises chicken in wine. It’s key in creating fluffy pancakes and eggs fried sunny-side up, crispy around the edges. I’ve even baked cakes in it. Our special bond goes back more than 25 years when I found it at a second-hand shop on the Oregon Coast. Ah, sweet memories.

Staying sharp: There’s a butcher block filled with knives back in my full kitchen, but the go-to slice-and-dicer is an eight-inch chef’s knife, followed by a paring knife. Those are no good, though, unless they’re sharp. Enter the amazing Wüsthof hand-held sharpener. It’s a bit bulky, so it’s tucked under the couch until it’s needed. I take a couple of passes with a dull knife through this affordable gizmo and I’m back in action.

More than a peeler: Speaking of sharp, my trusty vegetable peeler has been drafted into duty far beyond scraping carrots clean. I put it to good use making zoodles, ribbons of veggies like summer squash standing in for noodles. When it shaves Parmesan over a Caesar salad and turns citrus peels into flavor-packed zest, that peeler is almost like a hand-held food processor.

Magnifique coffee press: Someone in our traveling twosome cannot function without the morning caffeine kickstarter, so we invested in a top-notch coffee maker. The Espro P7 has two built-in microfilters to create a smooth cuppa. The double-sided stainless carafe helps keep it hot until that certain somebody’s eyes are wide open and his adventuring spirit wonders: “What trail do you want to explore today?”

Electric kettle: Ever since a long-ago trip to England, we’ve been fans of heating water in a kettle that’s plugged in. Don’t forget to occasionally descale the kettle with a vinegar solution, especially after staying in a place with hard water.

It’s the champ: Absolutely couldn’t be happier than when cooking outdoors on the excellent George Foreman Smokeless Grill. Yes, I love the flavor imparted by charcoal and wood chips, but this grill offers the ability to control the heat. I’ve made neighbors jealous frying bacon, burgers and chops, the savory fragrance perfuming the air. It also puts a pretty char on veggies and has even been pressed into

Read more